Today’s opening letter is less about accessibility specifically and more about inclusion as a whole. It’s about remembering that there is diversity within diversity.
It’s about identifying monoliths and destroying them because they are normally an obstacle to real progress.
It’s about recognizing the experiences, frustrations, and fears of people who do not look, sound, speak, or live like you and learning from them.
It’s about listening to others and acknowledging how you are complicit in the continuation of broken systems.
It’s about creating real change through your time, your talent, or your treasure.
Do what you can to make this world a better one.
Digital Accessibility Win of the Week
TikTok is finally working on auto-captions after receiving a lot of backlash and feedback from disabled users and content creators about the lack of accessibility in the app. About time, honestly.
Digital Accessibility Fail of the Week
I feel like I yell about this quite a bit, but I’ll keep yelling about it until everyone actually understands: SEO shouldn’t be your top priority when you write alt text for your images on social media. The most important reason for alt text is to make your images accessible for screen reader users.
Have you recently spotted a major digital accessibility win or fail on social media? Send it to me! I might just feature it in my next newsletter. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can DM me on Twitter. My inbox is always open!
You Should Retweet This
It was only a few weeks ago that I deleted Clubhouse from my phone. Personally, I’m not that enamored of an audio-only app, but I obviously understand the benefits of such a platform for blind and visually impaired users. However, that doesn’t mean that the app can just ignore how inaccessible it is for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
This particular issue has been brought up about Clubhouse on numerous occasions by hearing-impaired users and should be a priority for the app to rectify immediately. Heck, Clubhouse isn’t even fully accessible for visually impaired users yet.
Word of Advice
If you want your digital content to be truly accessible, it should include three things:
A visual component for users who rely on their sight to consume content
An audio component for users who rely on their hearing to consume content
A readable text component such as a written post or tweet, transcript, or image alt text for users who rely on assistive devices like screen readers to consume content. Readable text can also double as your audio component if a user is having their screen reader read the content aloud to them. Flattened copy such as text on an image or open captions does not count because it cannot be identified by a screen reader as readable text.
Looking for an easy way to double-check your social media content before posting it? Download my handy checklist and make sure you always have the basics of digital accessibility for social media covered!
One Last Thing
Just some wise words from my friend Alex about the optics of activism.
Sean Garrette @seangarretteactivism has really become an aesthetic for some people. It’s....getting weird.
Secrets, secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone! This logic also applies to newsletters and your Netflix login.